Shankly’s Village

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‘As somebody who cherished the friendship of my great fellow Ayrshireman Bill Shankly, I am delighted that the story of the remarkable mining village that produced him is being vividly told. Physically, Glenbuck has been expunged but its name will always have resonance for anyone interested in the importance of football to the working-class communities of what used to be Britain’s industrial areas.’ Hugh McIlvanney

Shankly’s Village is not only an important book about a lost community, its football teams and its history, but in its rebirth with the Glenbuck Academy, a magnificent inspiration of what football could be and mean again. . . it has so many great stories . . . very moving and powerful scenes, and is really well written.’    – David Peace

My new book, Shankly’s Village is out now.

Written in conjunction with football coach Robert Gillan (@robertpgillan) it tells the remarkable story of the tiny former mining village of Glenbuck that was the birthplace and home of Bill Shankly and over 50 other professional footballers. The book features:

  • The most comprehensive, exhaustive, and fully researched study of Glenbuck, birthplace of Bill Shankly
  • Never-seen-before detail on Bill Shankly’s playing career and his life after leaving Liverpool
  • Exclusive in-depth interviews with Ian St John and Ian Callaghan, providing fresh and revealing insight into their relationships with Bill Shankly
  • The truth about the ‘football is more important than life and death’ quote
  • A sweeping portrait of football and social history across Britain, from the birth of the game to the modern day
  • The former mining village was home to over 50 professional footballers; per capita, the equivalent would be a small non-league club in London producing nearly 250,000 pros over a 40-year period
  • Unprecedented coverage on each Glenbuck footballer and the clubs they played for
  • Detailed chapters on FA-Cup and League-title winners, their remarkable careers and lives
  • Fascinating interviews with relatives, former villagers, eyewitnesses and experts on a whole range of clubs, stories, and related subjects
  • Packed with detail, stories, anecdotes and insight.

For more details, and a FREE downloadable chapter, go to the Pitch page

From the book jacket:

Glenbuck is a name that resonates through the history of football in Britain. Once a tiny village in the Ayrshire coalfields, it produced an unprecedented roll call of professional players. Its most famous son, Bill Shankly, shaped not just Liverpool’s destiny but exerted a huge influence on the evolution of the modern game.

And yet virtually all that remains of ‘Shanks’s’ birthplace is his marble memorial. Glenbuck has not only been physically erased by de-industrialisation, but from football’s consciousness. The pitch which once rang with the shouts of players and partisan fans is now a boggy, neglected field. It is eerily, unforgivably silent.

The Football Village brings back to life the birthplace of Shankly and the exploits of 49 other wonderful characters. Glenbuck’s sons range from stars of English and Scottish football to more parochial heroes, all combining to form a compelling story of the British game across the divisions.

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About adampowley

Journalist and author.
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